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REPORTERS' NOTEBOOK

OLAF FUB SEZ: Worth repeating is the advice of George Eliot (1819-1880) that "it is never too late to be what you might have been." . . .

ON THIS DAY -- In 1700, the matrons of Flatbush, who were famous for the waffles they served at tea time, told visiting New Englanders how to prepare them: "1 pound butter, 1 pound flour, 1 pound sugar, 10 eggs. Bake in windowpane waffle irons, and when slightly cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar" . . . In 1936, King Edward VIII abdicated the throne of Britain, saying, "I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king . . . without the help and support of the woman I love." . . . In 1941, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. . . .

Christmas Time

Christmas, Christmas everywhere

Happiness is in the air

It is time to love and share

And show how much we really care.

-- Ann Wise
GOOD AT JOB -- Robert E. Arnold of Gasport has been named 1990 General Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year by the Federal Aviation Administration and the general aviation industry. The annual national award recognizes the important role played by professional maintenance technicians in aviation safety and promotion of aviation technology.

Arnold is owner and operator of Royalton Airport, which he established 35 years ago near Lockport, and owner and president of Tanger Aire Inc. and TRT Engineering, which designs and manufactures fuel-management systems, airstrip lighting systems and stainless-steel disc brakes. . . .

IN GOOD COMPANY -- Onondaga Chief Oren R. Lyons, associate professor of American studies at the University at Buffalo, was among 90 medalists for 1990 who joined President Bush and former Presidents Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Gerald R. Ford and Richard M. Nixon to receive the 1990 Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

The ceremony was held Sunday in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, an umbrella group for 66 of the nation's largest ethnic-heritage groups. This year's winners include entertainers Paul Simon and Frank Sinatra, former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan and Gov. Cuomo.

Lyons, who serves as faith-keeper of the Grand Council of Chiefs of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederation), accepted the award as a representative of all Native Americans. Last summer, he was a member of the team sent to successfully negotiate a settlement with the Canadian government on behalf of Mohawks involved in the land-use dispute at Oka, Quebec. . . .

AN AUCTION of miscellaneous merchandise collected from area merchants will be held at Stash & Stella's in the Walden Galleria mall at 7:30 p.m. Thursday to raise money for needy area families. A Salvation Army kettle will be on the premises, and the Salvation Army "Angel Tree" is being promoted in all the Stash & Stella locations in New York State.

Customers of the restaurant outlets are asked to donate gifts such as new and used clothing -- particularly coats, jackets and winter clothing for children -- as well as toys and non-perishable food items for the Angel Tree. For donations of $1, customers will be given a Message Angel on which they can write a message or attach a card before hanging it on the tree. . . .

THE CENTURY MARK -- Cosimo Vacanti is celebrating his 100th birthday today with his family and also at a special party at the Brothers of Mercy Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Clarence, where he now lives.

Vacanti came to the United States from Italy when he was nine months old. He owned a delicatessen on Buffalo's West Side until 1960. The father of three children, he has eight grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. . . .

HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- Kelly Henault, Denise Jezioro, Sandra Frandina, Deborah Pauly, Jamie George, Jim Cody, Catherine Federico, Dianne Curry, Mary Ann Skokowski, Kenny Rugg, Ethel Lis, Marcia Geary, Gloria Dorsey, Suzanne Dobucki, Theresa Flynn, Paul Linnan, Violet Zimolong, Lisa A. Fischer, Maryann Mlodzienski, David C. Starzynski, Joel Alvarez, Brenda Couell, Bobby Breidenstein, Carol Koester, Emilee Rindos, Irene Klepas.

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